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Here is a comparison I did back in March. By no means complete but it hits
on the major differences.

Bob Morris
Morris Endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID

Well, here is my first cut at comparing the AERC/FEI Rules. These are direct
from the rules book as published. Now, I make no claim that these rules are
enforced by the FEI but they are on the books. I feel there is quite a
variance with what the AERC regulates. All comments are appreciated. If you
have any doubts about what I have stated I can quote page, section, article
or line number, what ever you so desire for confirmation.


AERC Has just one set of rules that cover endurance and LD  These rules take
up 33 pages.  The FEI rules take 51 pages and must be read in conjunction
with the Statutes, the General Regulations and the Veterinary Regulations.

The AERC places the responsibility for the horse on the rider It addresses
the care of the horse before, during and after the competition.  The FEI
Code of Conduct  in a sense covers the same requirements but also adds In
the interests of the horse, the fitness and competence of the rider shall be
regarded as essential. And  all riding and training methods must take
account of the
horse as a living entity and must not include any technique
considered by the FEI to be abusive. This means the FEI can criticize a
competitor on their personal physical condition and/or the methods used to
train and condition the horse. To my mind a bit invasive of personal space.

The FEI REQUIRES at least every 40 km, there will be a compulsory halt for
veterinary inspection, (except Marathon Rides, see Art. 824.2). The
Veterinary Commission should approve the distance from the start to the
first inspection
during the ride. In a 160 km ride there must be at least five Vet Gates plus
the final inspection or four Vet Gates and a compulsory trot by. The AERC
does not  stipulate the location or number of Vet checks during a ride.

The AERC Rules do not provide for controlled speed during the competition.
Conversely the FEI Rules state; However, because of the conditions of the
course or other considerations which might adversely affect the ride, the
Organizing Committee in consultation with the Technical Delegate may
establish a minimum time for a section of a phase of competition. The length
of the course under controlled speed shall not exceed 5 km per section and
there cannot be more than one section under controlled speed per phase of
the course.

The FEI requires the type of terrain and altitude differentials must be
indicated in the schedule of the competition. In principle, the course
should not contain more than 10% of hard surface roads intended for
vehicular use. In general, the more demanding part of the course should not
be near the end. The
finish must be long and wide enough to enable several horses to finish at
speed without interfering with each other. These rules are completely
lacking in the AERC Rule Book.

Further FEI Requirements not generally seen in AERC Competition include Red
and white Boundary Flags. Entirely red or white (on both sides) boundary
flags or
indicators must be used to mark defined sections of the entire course, to
define the hazards, and to mark the start and finish lines. They are placed
in such a way that a competitor must pass a red flag on his right and a whit
flag on his left Such red or white flags or indicators, etc. must be
respected wherever they may occur in the course under penalty of elimination
(unless the competitor corrects himself). Whenever on the course a short cut
is possible the Organizing
Committee must place a steward to control that the obligatory passage is
respected. . A distance marker must be placed every 10km.

These requirements alone could be quite a burden on Ride Management ,
especially the Stewards where ever a short cut is possible.

In the AERC Rules hazards, such as ditch, steep, climb, descent or water
crossing are not ever considered. Here in the US these are just part of the
The FEI does consider them as follows: 1. Definition A hazard is a naturally
occurring obstacle such as ditch, steep, climb, descent or water crossing
and not constructed just for the ride. A hazard is considered only as such
if it is marked by a red and a white boundary flag. . Nature of Hazards  As
far as possible the hazards must be left in their natural state. If
necessary, they should be reinforced so that they remain in the same state
throughout the competition. 3. Alternative Route Refusal at the hazards
shall not entail elimination of the competitor. At each hazard an
alternative route must be provided for competitors who prefer to avoid the
hazard. The alternative route must be clearly marked and communicated at the
pre-ride briefing. The alternative route shall not add more than 500 meters
to the course (whenever possible).

In other words if the trail is to tough you have to make an easier one for
the competitors.

The AERC Rules establish the maximum time for the distance being covered.
The FEI has no established speeds but offers the following;  . In all
Endurance competitions, the Organizing Committee, in consultation with the
Technical Delegate, must fix the time limit for the arrival.

Quite a difference from our 12 hours for a fifty and 24 hours for a 100.

The AERC does not have any thing to say about how you start or finish the
ride but the FEI states They may lead or follow their horses, but must be
mounted to pass the starting and finishing posts of any day under penalty of

Dress Code! This is certainly not covered in any AERC Rule or Regulation. I
personally have had grief with this in FEI Competition. The FEI Rule is .
Dress must be appropriate and not detrimental to the image of Endurance
Riding. It is strongly recommended at all Endurance competitions and it is
compulsory at championships and CEIOs to wear the following dress:
- breeches or riding tights* and high boots, or
- breeches or riding tights* with gaiters or high socks
and ankle boots or running shoes, or
- jodhpurs and ankle boots or running shoes
- a shirt with collar
- for ceremonies a uniform dress with hunting cap or
recognized helmet and with long-sleeved jackets or
wind breakers, shirt and team tie is required
- in inclement weather, appropriate dress may be
For safety reasons, if any sporting shoes without heels are
worn, an enclosed stirrup or other safety stirrup must be used.
Riding tights, if worn, must be approved by the Ground Jury.

I have experienced where the Ground Jury determined the riding breeches were
to loose and had to be changed to tighter ones! In AERC we ride in what is

FEI Spurs and whips are forbidden AERC makes no comment.

FEI allows no finish ties.

The Officials required by FEI Chapter II Officials for Endurance Events
Article 822 Duties of Officials The list of Officials, certified by the FEI
is well in excess of anything the AERC ever dreamed of.

FEI requires stabling security the AERC believes that we are honorable

Here in the US under the sanctioning of the AERC we have endurance rides of
certain mileages. Under FEI sanctioning we have rides of many definitions I
refer you to Article 824 Categories of Endurance Rides There are many
classes and sub classes including rides of less than 50 miles (80 km)

FEI Rule No competitor may start later than 15 minutes after his starting
time under penalty of elimination. The AERC has no such rule.

Vet Stops not in the AERC but covered by FEI and another Veterinary
Inspection conducted according to the requirements set by the Veterinary
Commission with a timed hold of not less than 10 minutes not earlier than 3
km before the finish.

Three km is damn close to the finish! A vet stop two miles from the finish?

Again FEI rule; The last 3 km of the course should present no natural
hazards of any kind and no demanding change of altitude. This allows for a
flat out horse race. No such rule in AERC.

FEI! Intravenous fluid administration of permitted substances during the two
hours after the finish will be considered authorized medication and will not
entail elimination.

Absolutely not allowed by the AERC with in one hour or you are eliminated.
This is considered invasive treatment.!

Bob Morris
Morris Endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID

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